Hare Krishna Sunday School
c/o Tapasvini dasi
About the Authors
Tapasavini dasi, a disciple of Tamal Krishna Goswami, joined ISKCON in 1982. While conducting a small gurukula in Houston, Texas, she saw
the need for an organized system of spiritual instruction for the ISKCON congregation. Working with ISKCON Foundation, she compiled and produced the Hare Krishna Sunday School Curriculum.
A passionate teacher, Tapasvini spends her time teaching a homeschool group in her home and helping temples around the world organize their Sunday school programs. She lives in Alachua, Florida, with her husband, Radha Gopinatha dasa,and daughter, Nadia Kamala.
Sangita devi dasi, a disciple of Srila Prabhupada, joined ISKCON in 1972. She and her family presently live outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is a Registered Nurse who specializes as a Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse. She co-founded the non-profit organization, Vaisnavas C.A.R.E., Inc. (Counseling, Assistance, Resource, and Education for the Terminally-ill and Their Families). Sangita wrote the book, The Final Journey–Complete Hospice Care for the Departing Vaisnavas (Torchlight Publishing) which is used worldwide as the manual on end-of-life care in our Krsna Consciousness Movement. She spends most of her time giving seminars on hospice care for Vaisnavas and writing for their website: www.vaisnavascare.com.
She remembers her time assisting Tapasvini dasi with the completion of the Sunday School curriculum as a well-cherished memory and seva for Srila Prabhupada and the children in Sunday Schools around the world.
How the Program Began
Many years ago in Houston, Texas, a group of devotees in charge of “engaging” the children during the Sunday Feast sat together scratching their heads, trying to think of a better way. Scrambling for ideas each week, never sure of how many children would turn up, teachers not showing up, and constantly wondering how to entertain a 3-year old and a teenager in the same class were beginning to frustrate these dedicated souls. Surely, there must be a better way!
“What if we had a program developed in advance, ready and waiting to be taught to the children. This would eliminate the mild-to-extreme anxiety attacks experienced on Sunday mornings while we agonized over what to teach that evening.”
“What if the children were placed in different age groups so that a 14-year old was not at a table of 6-year olds.”
“What if we made it easier for teachers and volunteers by providing detailed teaching guides.”
“What if we recognized the children for their accomplishments and encouraged them to become an active part of the temple community.”
“What if we covered the main teachings of Krishna consciousness as individual, independent topics. Then new students could join the program at the start of a new topic and not be lost.”
“What if we did all this in a way that other temples could use.”
“What if we made it (GASP) fun?!?”
In trying to address these universal “what ifs,” the Hare Krishna Sunday School Curriculum was born. With 50 – 60 bright, eager, young Sunday school participants in Houston, we ran our pilot program and were very pleased with the results. We had happily engaged students who insisted their parents bring them each Sunday.
The Sunday Feast attendance increased. New families joined, since there was now a substantial program for their children. Parents were free to attend the lecture and many became more serious in their own spiritual lives as a consequence.
Teachers were happier and it was much easier to find teachers when they heard there were complete teaching instructions.
It is therefore our pleasure to make this successful model available to your temple community. With the Hare Krishna Sunday School Curriculum now available on CD, we hope children, teachers, parents and temple communities can more easily take advantage of the program and enrich the lives of Krishna’s children worldwide..!